Friday, December 2, 2016

When is the President to be believed?

How important is it to believe what the President says?  Do we listen to his speeches and expect him to deliver on promises he makes? Do we listen to his words and expect them to be meaningful and true? Not according to Cory Lewandowski, a spokesman of the next President.

“This is the problem with the media. You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally,” Lewandowski said. “The American people didn’t. They understood it. They understood that sometimes — when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar — you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

I suggest the media ignore the reality show that Mr. Trump expects to star in as President, or at minimum consign it to the Entertainment section of the news. Go straight to the policy makers he is choosing for his administration. Take him at his word that he will only go out and “make America great again” by basking in the glow of his followers at rallies around the country. Because Mr. Trump is not to be taken literally, the media must begin to dig a little deeper and report the machinations of the new administration from the actions and policies of those who have been delegated to govern. 

Mr. Trump should be treated as a figure head, a puppet, a pretty face to be trotted out at rallies as a rock star and summarily ignored. The media should take it’s collective eye off the shiny object attracting all the attention and concentrate on what is actually affecting the citizens of this great country. Will they?

Will they report on the cabinet that is starting to look like a Goldman Sachs board meeting?  Will they dig deep to find problems with the new Secretary of Education, a billionaire supporter of privatization who wants to gut public education? Will they look at the head of Health and Human Services who famously challenged the media to find even one woman who couldn’t afford an abortion? How about the new CIA director, Mike Pompeo, who would be happy to criminalize muslims across the country and torture suspected terrorists in violation of US and international law?

The media is in trouble. Nothing like this has ever happened in our country. We don’t have a leader, we have a corporate structure with a CEO. The CEO has delegated the sausage making of governance to his lieutenants. The media must learn to adapt and report on what is really happening in the government. Our country is at stake. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

Instead of an Olive Branch, Mr. Buchanan offers a "War."

I'm pissed. The editorial page  of today's local paper was given over (Viewpoint, 11/25) to one of the most notorious white supremacists in politics, Mr. Patrick "Pat" Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan doesn’t get much media attention anymore because of his racist rants. His forum has been limited to fringe websites populated by fellow ideologues. It's not surprising that he feels embattled as I'm sure that he feels the weight of history bearing down on him heavier than ever. His call for the losing side who didn’t vote for the winning candidate (the conceited cultural elite) to “accept its defeat” is disingenuous as is his cry of "arrogance."

The statement Mr. Buchanan referred to from the cast of the musical Hamilton was respectful and pointed out the diversity of America and the very real concern that the new administration is not showing much interest in protecting the rights of all citizens. For Mr Buchanan, and now the DNR Editor as well, any such dissent is a treasonous war cry. The Left (74% of the electorate, 49% of whom never bothered to vote because of the poisonous political environment) should just “get over it.” 

Look, everyone knows how the Electoral College works. Mr. Trump won by a razor thin margin. I don’t hear anyone really debating this except some fringe lefties whose job it is to raise such alarms. As to getting over it? I think Mr. Buchanan is correct, the Trump Administration is in for a battle. A newly energized left is just getting started.  It would be good for Mr. Buchanan and friends to remember that Mr. Trump was elected by 26.3% of the electorate, not even a plurality.

An historical model might be the Clinton administration was also brought into office by 26.3% of the electorate. The key differences are that Mr. Clinton's was a strong plurality (5%) and that Mr. Clinton soon realized that he would need to bend to the will of the defeated minority in order to govern effectively. The results are well documented. The "loyal" opposition achieved some significant accomplishments but never acknowledged Mr. Clinton's legitimacy. With Mr. Clinton and the vociferously loyal opposition, it came to impeachment.  Mr. Trump should expect the same level of loyal opposition now. He and his fellows are not victims, they are the leadership of our country. Perhaps it is they who should be asked to "Get over it."



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mr. Goodlatte, Your Cart's Before Your Horse

So this came into my email box this morning from the good Squire Goodlatte:
NEXT WEEK: On Tuesday, December 2, at 1PM, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the unconstitutionality of President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Notice that this hearing is not about immigration policy or the need for legislative solutions to this important problem. It's not even about the effectiveness or merit of Mr. Obama's executive actions.

Mr. Goodlatte and the House Tea Party caucus have declared the executive actions unconstitutional and will now use the power of the Judiciary Committee to prove it.  This is generally known to students of history as an inquisition. A less draconian term might be hyper-partisanship.  In reality, it's a distraction, and excuse not to govern.

There's a serious problem in our country with the confluence of the need for the economic engine of immigration and the radical nativism espoused by Mr. Goodlatte, friends in Congress, and the folks that voted them into office.  Instead of trying to solve the problem, we're going to have an inquisition.

Nakedly partisan governance is ugly.

Then there is this:
There is an adage every young lawyer learns: If you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts. But if you have neither, pound the table.
And these results from a Latino Decisions Poll conducted last week:
The results were staggering. A whopping 89 percent support the president’s executive action — 68 percent of them strongly. Just 10 percent oppose it.
And finally this from The Federalist Society via freethoughtsblog.com.
The Federalist Society held their annual conference last week and a panel of conservative legal scholars agreed that President Obama does have the authority to defer some deportations, partly because of inherent executive authority and partly because Congress wrote the immigration laws to give the president such authority. 
 The decent and law-abiding Mr Goodlatte should perhaps reconsider his statement?

Interestingly, in the very same email, Mr. Goodlatte proudly displays an executive action by President Lincoln...obviously not unconstitutional.



More work to do.....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mr. Goodlatte's Response to Mr. Obama's Action on Immigration

Here is the relevant portion of Mr. Goodlatte's letter followed by my response.

Reading the Constitution isn’t something many Americans do on a daily basis. However, in light of President Obama’s announcement that he will act unilaterally to change our immigration laws and shield five million unlawful immigrants from immigration enforcement, perhaps we should take a look at our founding document for a refresher. Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution states that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” The Congress, not the President, has the power to legislate. 
It’s both perplexing and alarming that the President has decided to move forward with executive actions on immigration that he has said on numerous occasions that he didn’t have the constitutional power to take. The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to change our immigration laws on his own ignores the will of the American people and completely disregards the Constitution.

Dear Mr. Goodlatte,

He’s not changing any laws.  May I repeat.  He’s not changing any laws.  

You are correct in that Congress has the power to legislate.  You and your friends in the leadership of the majority party have repeatedly refused to exercise that power with regards to immigration reform.

It is you sir, who should follow your constitutional mandate to pass legislation that provides governance concerning the issue of immigration.  You sir, are the lawless and feeble legislator, unable to pass any legislation save the numerous attempts to deny Americans proper health care and women the power over their own bodies.

How can it be “perplexing” to you when Mr. Obama has repeatedly stated to you what he has intended to do concerning immigration?  

I don’t believe you sir.  I am perplexed and amazed at your response. I am very angry with you about your stubborn refusal address the issue of immigration through legislation.

Mr. Goodlatte, whom do you serve?

Sincerely, 
Brent Holl

Taxpayer, voter, and resident of your district.